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This recipe goes out to my good friend Tobes and anyone who has to pack a lunch.  Not all of us can be like Mr. F and eat a peanut butter sandwich for lunch ever single day of his life since grade 7.  Every. Single. Day.  This is incredible.  He amazes me in several ways and this one is right up there.  He even told me once that he still looks forward to eating it every morning. Wha?!

Well, for those of us who need some variety in our brown bags, here’s a packable salad. I call it greek inspired because I don’t really know what is considered Greek, but I do know the flavours.  It’s got eggplant, red pepper, tomatoes and zuchini  with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon, garlic and oregano, all topped with salty feta cheese.  It can be eaten warm or cold and still taste great.  Chicken can be added to make it a heavier meal.  There is a handful of arugula (or rocket?) that may wilt after a day or two in the fridge so omit it if you want.  Overall, this is a good sturdy salad that is delicious to boot.  Let me know how it goes…..

Oh, and it’s been a while since I posted a photo of Little Pea – so here’s a gooder:

if you like to pack this type of salad for lunch try these out too:

Feta and Lime Slaw

Hail to the Kale Salad

Warm Salmon and Bean Salad

Amazing Thai Salad

Greek Inspired Bulgar Salad

1.5 cups dry bulgar (I use large size kernels) boiled according to package directions

1 eggplant, diced

1 zuchini, diced

1 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely diced

a pinch of dried oregano

1 chicken breast, diced (optional)

1 red pepper, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 big handful arugula

4  tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

Start by putting on your bulgar to boil.  Next, grab a large skillet and with an little oil, saute the chicken breast (optional), eggplant, onion and zuchini.  Add one garlic clove, a sprinkling of dried oregan and salt and pepper.

While sauteing, chop up the red pepper and tomatoes.  These stay fresh, so just throw them in a big salad bowl.

Once the bulgar is done boiling and the veggies are done sauteing, toss them all into the same salad bowl as the red pepper and tomatoes.  Over this, throw in the handful of arugula.

For the vinaigrette, mix together the oil, lemon juice, honey, oregano and garlic.  Pour over top of the salad and toss.

 

Have any of you ever been to Brazil?  I have not – but funny thing – I have two very special Brazilian friends.  How did I swing that?  Well, they were both here in the Netherlands in the exact same predicament as myself.  Our husbands followed their schooling dreams to the TU Delft and we followed right along side.  This kind of left us three women in the lurch.  What should we do while we were here?  Who will we find for friends?  Well, we all made our way to a little group called the International Neighbours Group.  The ING.  I know, it is the same as the bank, which makes it very confusing where talking about it.

The ING is a group sponsored by the university for foreign students and their families.  Every Wednesday there is a handicraft group.  Naturally, since I am keen on handicrafts, I was all over this.  And that is where I met Josie.  We found out that we lived in the same building and that she actually lived directly over top of me.  She was my answer to who I was going to be friends with.  We had coffee dates, we shopped together, we celebrated birthdays together and she was the first one I told about Little Pea.  After one year, she returned to Brazil and I was devestated.

Then along came Renally, another Brazilian.  I actually met her through Josie before she left.  Renally was fun, sweet and outgoing.  Who knew Brazilians were so friendly!  We became fast friends and did everything together.  She supported me through my whole pregnancy and was even there when I was in labour. Then, after her year was up, she moved back to Brazil.  I was heartbroken, but she has already been back to visit!

These two ladies introduced me to the Brazilian culture. They taught me not to be so shy and to reach out to people.  Josie and Renally will always be in my heart as those who were there for me in what could have been a very lonely life here in Delft.  Luckily, after their tutelage, I have made some other spectacular friends here in their absence.

Here is a recipe that Renally left for me to try.  Brigadeiro – a traditional birthday candy.  Super easy and chewy delicious!

ps. I am working on getting a recipe from Josie for Brazilian cheese bread, stay tuned…

Brigadeiro

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp cocoa (plus extra for coating)

sprinkles (coloured or chocolate)

mini cupcake paper cups

Start by melting the butter in a pot on medium heat.  When melted, add in the milk and stir.  Next add in the cocoa and stir until combined.  Continue to slowly stir with a wooden spoon while heating.  The mixture will eventually thicken.  Keep cooking until you can draw your spoon through the mixture and you can see the bottom of the pan.  The mixture should not fold back over the line from the spoon. (see photo)

Remove from heat and let cool until you are able to handle it.  With a spoon, scrape out about 1 teaspoon scoops and roll into balls with greased hands.  Roll balls in sprinkles or extra cocoa.  Place balls in the mini cups. THis recipe makes about 20 brigadeiro.

 

Hello old friends!  How goes it in the food blogging world?  I have not stopped checking in on you, but I am afraid I have fallen off the wagon.  No, I am not an alcoholic.  I am referring to the lack of posts.  It has something to do with my 7 month old, but really I have losts my imagination in the kitchen.  WTF?!  Where di it get off to?  I must search it out…

In the meantime, I did make something kind of interesting.  A soup that I threw together, on the first day of cold and rainy weather here.  For real, we just came off of a week in the high 20’s!!  Yes, summer was prolonged.  Ahhh, so nice.

This here soup is something that you can throw together in a jiffy.  (Hey, I just thought of something – is that why Jiffy peanut butter is named that? Because you can make a pb sandwich in a “jiffy”? Cool).  This is not one of those slow-simmer-for-hours soups.  This is a soup that you can get you slurp on with in about 20 minutes depending on how big you chop your veggies.  It has an asian flair with the sesame oil essence and the saltiness of soy sauce.  Get creative and add what you like.  Throw in a pair of chopsticks and it’s authentic 😉

Asian Noodle Soup

4 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water

1 chicken breast

1 leak

2 carrots

a small clamshell of mushrooms (button or other of your choice)

1 package thin egg noodles (soba noodles would taste good here too)

a big handfull of fresh snap peas

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp minced or grated ginger

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

Pour in the broth, water and the chicken breast into a large soup pan.  Add the garlic, ginger, oil and soy sauce.  Bring up to a boil.  Meanwhile chop the veggies (minus the peas) and toss in.  After about 15 minutes remove the chicken breast and shred with two forks or rough chop with a knife.  Toss the pieces back in.  Right at the end stir in the noodles and peas.  Let cook according to the package – usually no more than 5 minutes and then you’re done.  Serve with extra soy sauce and sesame oil to add if you like.

 

Foodlova

I'm an ex-Olympian and I have a serious passion for food. I guess you could call me a food lova! What about you?

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